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Canada's Kaya Turski wins fifth Winter X Games gold in ski slopestyle

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Kaya Turski is pictured May 13, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jimmy Jeong

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Kaya Turski is pictured May 13, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jimmy Jeong

ASPEN, Colo. - Canada's Kaya Turski had one final chance to test her surgically repaired knee in competition before the Sochi Olympics, and she won a gold medal while doing so.

The Montreal native, who was competing just five months after having surgery on her anterior cruciate ligament, captured her fifth Winter X Games gold medal in women's ski slopestyle Sunday.

"I just wanted to get out there and land a run that was clean and solid, get back into the groove of things," said the 25-year-old. "My knee's feeling really good. I've had a lot of great support, a physical therapist travelling with me, all my sponsors have been really involved. Everyone is making sure I'm on the right program."

Turski injured herself back in August while training and it was uncertain then if she would be ready in time for her sport to make its Olympic debut in February. But with determination, and a great support network, she says was able to return back to the slopes well ahead of schedule.

"I wasn't listening too much to what other people were saying," said Turski. "The moment I blew (my knee) so many things were going through my head like, 'what's going to happen with the Olympics?'... (But) I knew if I put in my everything I could get back to as strong as I was."

Turski scored 91.33 on her second run to cruise to first place, but admitted she has more to give.

"I think that I was rewarded for my flow on the course, just keeping it cool and looking smooth," said Turski. "I want to bring that to the Olympics. I didn't want to throw my hardest tricks on the course today because I didn't want to compromise my chances heading into the Olympics."

American Maggie Voisin took silver with 90.00 points and Kim Lamarre of Quebec City earned bronze with a best score of 85.00.

"I was thrilled to have Kim on the podium with me, she's one of my best friends," said Turski. "She's one to watch, she's a really, really strong athlete. She can have a winning run."

Dara Howell of Huntsville, Ont., finished fourth with a score of 84.00 while Yuki Tsubota of Whistler, B.C. was eighth at 75.33.

All four skiers are on Canada's freestyle team heading to next month's Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

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